Foreign, Def Mins scheduled to be in Beijing on April 24
Beijing: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are scheduled to be in Beijing on April 24 to attend different meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and interact with their counterparts from the member states.
The eight-member SCO, in which India was a latest entrant along with Pakistan, is due to hold its summit in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit and also hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The SCO comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
Ahead of the summit, the organisation which is focused on anti-terrorism cooperation is holding a host of ministerial and officials' meetings to work out a firm agenda for the summit to provide a new direction to the grouping. SCO Foreign and Defence Ministers meetings are scheduled on the same day on April 24 and almost around the same time, according to officials here. The visits of Swaraj and Sitharaman are the first high-profile visits by Indian ministers after last year's 73-day long standoff at Dokalam. The two ministers are expected to hold bilateral meetings with their Chinese and other counterparts.